Talk:Übermensch/Archive 1

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what about those born without religion raised as atheists or raised in other eastern faith traditions like taoism?

What about them?
Seth Mahoney 18:22, 16 Feb 2004 (UTC)
There's more to it than atheism, actually. Nietzsche would say they still have the cultural baggage of conventional ethics to deal with and would presumably consider the Dao or secular humanism to be obstacles to be overcome as well. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 15 Nov 2005 Note that this comment is about 20 months later than the exchange into which it is inserted.
To add a little to this discussion, Nietzche's philosophy is not so much anti-religious as it is anti-traditional (best word I could think of). That is, it doesn't mattter what your inherited ethical/religious/moral system is (be it Christian, Taoist, or Secular Humanist) in order to become an Ubermensch you need to let go these inherited beliefs and develop your own individual belief system. This makes me wonder if Bruce Lee was influenced by Nietzche when he developed his martial arts 'style' that teaches his followers to develop their own individual technique. Mattstam 14:59, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

I deleted the passage in the first sentence, which claimed that the entire philosophy of Thus Spoke Zarathrustra is based on the phrase "God is dead." This isn't true, as far as I know. Is there any support for this claim? Adam Conover 01:29, Apr 10, 2004 (UTC)

Confusion with Biology?

"Nietzsche's writings are spiritual and philosophical in character, and do not state that the central ideas are biological, psychological, sociological, or sociobiological."

Surely Nietzsche considered the spiritual and philosophical to be signs of the biological, psychological, sociological and sociobiological? The very short chapter 'The Improver's of Mankind' from Twilight of the Idols as far as I can tell can only be read this way. - "To this extent moral judgement is never to be taken literally: as such it never contains anything but nonsense. But as semeiotics it remains of incalculable value: it reveals, to the informed man at least, the most precious realities of cultures and inner worlds which did not know enough to 'understand' themselves. Morality is merely sign-language, merely symptomatology: one must already know what it is about to derive profit from it." is there much that is as 'spiritual' and 'philosophical' as morality?

Then, following this quote a few sentences later: "In all ages one has wanted to 'improve' men: this above all is what morality has meant. But one word can conceal the most divergent tendencies. Both the taming of the beast man and the breeding of a certain species of man has been called 'improvement': only these zoological termini express realities - realities to be sure of which the typical 'improver', the priest, knows nothing - wants to know nothing . . ."

The follows passages of the 'sickness' of man under Christianity: a sickness that Nietzsche is the result of taming of some humans by others (not metaphorically.) Following this, a passage on the 'Law of Manu' which proposes the task of breeding four races simultaneously, where Nietzsche discusses human breeding in the same way as a farmer would discuss the breeding of animals. Nietzsche's comments comparing the Law of Manu and the New Testament show that he preferred the former to the latter.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Backup from the man himself

I think there needs to be some quotes/translations to back up of the interpretations of the Overman placed in this article. This will contribute to the overhaul. Zarathustra has some excellent references.--Knucmo2 22:52, 12 August 2005 (UTC)

Is anyone working on this? I'd be interested in doing a major clean-up of this article, including fleshing out the primary philosophical content with citations from primary sources. --MVandegrift 01:11, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

I think you should go for it. -- Jmabel | Talk 19:38, 13 December 2005 (UTC)


I think the term should be mentioned in the article because linguistically it is the opposite of Übermensch. Andries 22:51, 1 May 2004 (UTC)

And what does the term have to do with Nietzsche's philosophy? I don't think that every article warrants a mention of every word that is linguistically its opposite - in this case, the article is about Nietzsche's philosophy and a particular term used in it, not about the word its self. -Seth Mahoney 01:54, 3 May 2004 (UTC)
The article is about Übermensch so it seems to me that the opposite should be mentioned if it is derived from Nietsche's philosophy, even if it is distorted. If this is true then it should be mentioned, I think. I don't know much about the subject, I have to admit. Andries 04:29, 3 May 2004 (UTC)
I don't believe that Nietzsche uses the word Untermensch - to him, its equivalent would seem to be just human. That is, the Ubermensch is the superman (literally, overman), and his opposite, or that which he develops in a sense in opposition to, is the human. But Nietzsche also didn't seem so much to favor binary oppositions but rather continuums - the only opposition he really spends much time writing about is the Apolonian and Dionysian and even these are found, ideally, in a sort of harmonious conflict in each individual and in each society. -Seth Mahoney 06:01, 3 May 2004 (UTC)

Nietzsche does use the term "Untermensch" though.

Where and when? It shouldn't matter to state the opposite if Nietzsche never mentions it in any books or philosophy. Besides, the term "Üntermensch" came after Nietzsche's time, it was coined by Hitler and the Nazis to discribe the "Jews/unlikeables of Europe." If Nietzsche ever discusses Üntermenschen, please, feel free to correct me, but I'm pretty sure he never did.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

Literal meaning of Übermensch, superior man or overman?

Adam Connover is right that the main meaning of the German word "ueber" is "over" but in some cases it can mean higher or superior. I looked up the word ueber in a German->Dutch dictionary and the meaning of superior or higher is mentioned second. I compared with the German version of this article and they translate here the word "ueber" as superior. So I think superior is the right translation here. Andries 19:29, 21 May 2004 (UTC)

Well, even if "superior" should be included in the translation, it's not the literal translation. "Over" needs to be included as well because the symbolism of "over" and "under" is important throughout the work. I am therefore going to try to use both. Adam Conover 20:03, May 21, 2004 (UTC)
May be superior is not the literal translation but then it is higher. Over is not the right literal translation here.Andries 20:16, 21 May 2004 (UTC)
Based on Kaufmann's translation, which is by far the standard, the correct translation is "overman". Can you find a reference for "higher man"? (For now, let's stop changing this until we reach an agreement.) Also, see Also Sprach Zarathustra -- it references the fact that "ubermensch" is specifically a pun on "over", because it relates to the emergence of the sun over the mountains, and is contrasted with "unter". Adam Conover 20:22, May 21, 2004 (UTC)

I have to admit that I don't know much about Nietzsche but I know something about German language. I looked up in the German->Dutch dictionary (Thieme, of reasonable quality) the adjective uebermenschlich which is translated in Dutch as "bovenmenselijk" which means beyond human, in other words superior. Besides the German wikipedia gives a different origin of the word uebermensch. It says ' "Der Mensch ist ein Seil, geknüpft zwischen Tier und Übermensch, - ein Seil über einem Abgrunde." (Zarathustra S.14)
Im großen Plan der Evolution ist es aus der Sicht Nietzsches die Aufgabe des Menschen, seinen Nachfolger hervorzubringen, der höher entwickelt ist als er selbst. Diesen dem Menschen überlegenen Menschen nennt Nietzsche den "Übermenschen".'
translated this means. '"Man is a rope tied between animal and Uebermensch, - a rope over the abyss." (Zarathustra S.14) According to Nietzsche's view it is in the big plan of the evolution the aim of man to make a successor who has been developed higher than he himself. Nietzsche calls this man who is superior to other men Uebermensch. '
Higher can be a good literal translation of the prefix ueber. I am certain of that based on the dictionary. Andries 20:54, 21 May 2004 (UTC)

I think the confusion comes from the fact that ueber means both over and higher, literally. There is not one word for in English. Andries 21:25, 21 May 2004 (UTC)
I'm a little shocked that you engaged in this whole discussion even though you "don't know much about Nietzsche." I actually do know quite a bit about Nietzsche, and I was under the impression that "overman" is the now-accepted literal translation. I took your disagreements seriously because I thought that you were also familiar with Nietzsche, but if you aren't, I'm afraid I have to reinstate my original version. The translation of "ubermensch" as "overman" is not a matter of interpretation -- rather, it was the product of a specific effort by translators to find which of the man translations of "uber" best fits the context in which Nietzsche placed his newly coined word. They determined that "overman" best expressed his meaning. I have references, of course: [1], [2], [3]. Also, I can reference specific passages in TSZ which show that "overman" is the best translation, such as the allusion in which one tightrope walker jumps over another. In this sentence, the word "uber" is used, yet the one man is clearly not jumping "higher" than the other, but "over" him. If you can back up your argument with citations or German and English passages in Nietzsche, I'd love to see it, but until now I think we have to let my version stand. No offense, but I have to be adamant upon this point. Adam Conover 02:51, Jun 9, 2004 (UTC)
The Dutch version of Encarta both mentions overman and superhuman as a translation but I won't insist because your references look good. Andries 16:53, 11 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Thanks, Andries. I'm sorry that I had to be so blunt, and I'm glad we reached an agreement on this. Nice work. Adam Conover 19:39, Jun 11, 2004 (UTC)
I just added a few words - feeling that the notions given in the text with "Überwindung (overcoming), überstehen/durchstehen (come through/get over), übersetzen (translate/take across)," are misleading. The closest word to look at is the adjective "übermenschlich" which is a very common exaggeration used to say that someone did something with his utmost strength and that he achieved something no human being should be capable of. One should secondly look at the closest parallel constructions. "Übernatürlich" means no longer natural, supernatural would be the English translation, überirdisch from irdisch i.e. earthly means heavenly (whilst "oberirdisch" just means above ground. The problems Germans have with "Superman" are quite different. The word lacks the trascendency aspect, the devine power - and it focusses on "man". This is, of course the word to be used for both sexes in English, yet "Mensch" is "human", and the idea is very much that of a human being and an evolution into something highet it might be capable of... Germans can speak of Supermann, and that will be a close translation of superman. It will lack all the secret transcendentalism carried with the Word Übermensch. Übermensch could be translated with "more than human" - I guess that would be the closest translation a German would chose, now I do not know what you will say with a native English ear about "more than human", and then you will have the problem of finding no compound to create the "more-than-human-being"...
"Untermensch" is at the same time effectively less than a human being - a being which does not deserve to be called a human being - a being rather on the level of animals. Something real human beings should make use of rather than respect. Quite an ugly language we speak, I confess.
If you feel you can live with my German-English translation you might change the passage accordingly. --Olaf Simons (who studied both languages for some decades but who will have to remain a German speaker) 15:19, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
Doesn't "man who is superior" mean the same thing as "overman"? I don't see why there needs to be a one-or-the-other attitude on which translation to use, because overman and superman are synonyms. Raven 21:44, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

Will to Destruction

Where in Zarathustra, or anywhere in Nietzsche's writings, does he claim a "will to destruction"? Also: I believe "Overman" is the best translation. The "uber" in the word is meant to go along with the "overcoming" theme of the rest of Nietzsche's work. Superman is a poor translation, not really what I think he intended. The "Overman" is one who "Overcomes". --DanielCD 19:47, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I concur. A reference in the "Will to Destruction" section would be helpful, I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere else. I think it might be better to mention the "three metamorphoses" rather than, or at least in addition to, "Will to Destruction" and "Will to Power". I plan on doing some more research and making these changes at some point. Mixx 21:40, 23 May 2005 (UTC)

Non-informative sentence

I removed the following sentence:

Also cf. the bottom paragraph of the article on über.

If the original editor wants to put it back, please use complete words rather than abbreviations, and summaries rather than "please see this link". If you simply must include sentences with no info to point readers to other articles, please just use the See also: section. -Seth Mahoney 22:24, Aug 15, 2004 (UTC)

God is dead

I removed the following paragraph:

Therefore Nietzsche wants to destroy Christian dogmas and separate man from the idea of God. He underlines this by his thesis of claiming that man is incapable of grasping the idea of God as God dwells beyond and man in this world.

Though Nietzsche is definately unappreciative of Christian teachings, I don't think that he really targets them any more than the teachings of Plato, Buddha, the skeptics, Jews, and so on. Further, this paragraph directly contradicts the prior paragraph (which I'm going to work on in a minute) without representing itself as an alternative view (is God unreal, or far away?). -Seth Mahoney 20:47, Sep 17, 2004 (UTC)

Nazi Germany Category?

Why is this article in Nazi German category? Comrade Tassadar 00:08, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Good question. It isn't anymore. Adam Conover 01:42, Nov 21, 2004 (UTC)

I would tend to think that it should at least be linked into the Nazi German category, since it was interpretted as an endorsement for the longest time towards Nazism.

It has nothing to do with Nazi Germany as such. The small link it has can be represented by an internal link in the Nazi Germany article, much nicer than the rather unkind and inaccurate representation of the Übermensch as a Nazi German artifact. --Marinus 06:48, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

Examples of Philosophical Systems that Place an Emphasis in a Different Realm

I removed the word, "Judaism" (in reference to philosophical systems that place more of an emphasis on the next world than on this one). Firstly, one religion alone should not be named. Secondly, although I am not Jewish, I have studied the religion extensively and the opinion that was once found on the wiki is simply not the case. And, even if a case could be made, it is far from the strongest example supporting the point with regards to modern religions.


"... The inescapable reference is that the American comic book character Superman was originally intended to be a powerful villain and hence was closer to the Nietzschean usage, though of course in no profound manner. ..."

I for one find it easy to escape this odd notion, though the right way to rewrite the paragraph is harder. —wwoods 00:04, 9 May 2005 (UTC)

Although this is rather trivial, I must point out that the original version was accurate. In 1933, the creators of Superman published a short story which involved an evil man with mental powers (called "the Superman"). It can be argued whether or not this was the SAME Superman that we may or may not be able to avoid, but since it was the brainchild of the same writer (Jerry Siegel) it is usable. I would fix it, but I fear being accused of vandalism. Also, since the farmiliar character is almost always portrayed as an enemy of what Hitler stood for (in the '40's an enemy of Hitler himself), it doesn't make sense in the current form.

—Epiphone83 May 26, 2005

Kim Newman

"More recently, Kim Newman's short story Übermensch deliberately combined the two words with an alternative history in which Superman was brought up in Germany and eventually imprisoned as a Nazi."

Is this really notable enough(with respect to philosophy) to belong in the article on the Nietzschean übermensch? The Bulwer-Lytton example illustrates the usage of "superman" as a literary term; the mention of the short story doesn't seem to have a similar function. Furthermore, Newman's short story, though it indeed would seem to be an example of using both terms in one work, seems out of place - firstly, because Superman(the comic book character) is completely irrelevant to the article, and secondly, because the work isn't even claimed to be notable in its treatment of Nietzsche's philosophy. 01:35, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Agreed. I'll remove it, hadn't noticed it. I moved it to Talk:Kim Newman to be dealt with. -- Jmabel | Talk 04:17, 25 October 2005 (UTC)


This article states that anti-semitism is "absent" in Nietzsche's writings. While I certainly agree within the context of this statement that his work was misappropriated by the Nazis, and that he devoted a great deal of time and energy arguing against anti-semitism, racism in general, and nationalism, to say that anti-semitism is altogether absent is misleading. His earlier writings and many of his letters clearly display anti-semitic tendencies that are later abandoned, complicated, or transformed as his philosophical ideas changed and he rejected--in large part--the influence of Wagner (and others). I would recommend changing the article slightly to account for this complexity and ambiguity (though maintaining that he was misused by the Nazis, in large part due to his sister).--MS

  • I was about to say more or less the same and noticed this already here. Nietzsche's views on the Jews were complicated: even in his mature writing, his animus toward Christianity played out at times (in lesser degree) against the Jews as the people among whom Christianity spawned. This was not at all the exterminationist anti-semitism of the Nazis, but the current wording—that the very "concept" is "absent" is an overstatement. I'll give a few days for someone else who has been involved in the article to take this on, but if no one responds, I will edit. -- Jmabel | Talk 23:27, August 13, 2005 (UTC)
  • Wouldn't it be more appropriate to say, (at least in his mature works, clearly Wagner lead him astray early on), that he blasted the philosophical tenents of the Jewish religion, rather than the Jews themselves? He certainly despised Christian theology, but wasn't racist towards Europeans. Spaltavian 01:44, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
    • YES, absolutely. Nietzsche certainly had problems with religion, and he had problem with people who blindly followed religion, but I don't see racial hatred in his work at all. As for the Jews, Nietzsche himself says (perhaps in Beyond Good & Evil, I'm not sure) "Woe betide the European intellect if ever the Jewish intellect were subtracted from it." You can also go to his letters, and some works by Danto or Kaufmann, to find out for yourself the dripping hatred that Nietzsche had for his sister's anti-Semite husband Förster. Just because Elizabeth Förster-Nietzsche married a proto-Nazi, and hung out with Hitler, and rewrote Friedrich's works to make his writings palatable to Hitler, and just because his early British translators and folks like Russell jingoistically attacked Nietzsche as a philosophical representative of Hitler, and just because really bad professors nowadays get all that mixed up with the works of Nietzsche himself, doesn't mean Nietzsche had anything at all to do with Nazism or race hatred. 15:27, 15 August 2006 (UTC)


The passage that begins "However, another problem is that when the Ubermensch lives according to his Will to Power… doesn't particularly sound to me like Nietzsche. Is it cited from somewhere? If no one can answer that in the next 48 hours, I will cut it to the talk page. -- Jmabel | Talk 08:10, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Re-evaluating or destroying old articles

Some of this article is incomprehensible. The lead is fine, but then it plunges off into obscurity. Just as an example, consider the following paragraph:

Nietzsche's motivation for the claim 'God is dead' is the destruction of the Christian conscience, i.e., a God-centered way of thinking, and the fateful will to break out. His symbols for this are flame and thunder. Only by breaking out of the idealistic norms one can become Übermensch, which literally means "beyond human." The initial point of destruction is the church, which is, according to Nietzsche, the exact opposite of what Jesus preached. The reason for this is a process initiated by the apostle Paul, which caused a transfiguration of Jesus' teachings to a remedy-punishment doctrine. Zarathustra was the prototype for Nietzsche's Übermensch.

  • "Nietzsche's motivation for the claim 'God is dead' is the destruction of the Christian conscience, i.e., a God-centered way of thinking…" - so far, so good
  • "…and the fateful will to break out." "fateful" according to whom? (Nietzsche?) Whose… fate? To "break out of what"?
  • "His symbols for this are flame and thunder." Symbols for the death of God? or for the will? or what?
  • "Only by breaking out of the idealistic norms one can become Übermensch, which literally means 'beyond human.'" - fine
  • "The initial point of destruction is the church, which is, according to Nietzsche, the exact opposite of what Jesus preached." - "The initial point of destruction": utterly unclear. The first thing the Übermensch must destroy, perhaps? And I'd expect upper-case Church (the institution) not an individual church. And what is "the exact opposite of what Jesus preached"? I presume present-day (well, then-present-day) organized Christianity, but the way this reads, you'd have to know that coming in.
  • "The reason for this is a process initiated by the apostle Paul, which caused a transfiguration of Jesus' teachings to a remedy-punishment doctrine." "Remedy-punishment doctrine" is very awkward. Perhaps it is just an error for "reward-punishment doctrine"? Or perhaps it means to say something else entirely.
  • "Zarathustra was the prototype for Nietzsche's Übermensch." How "thus"? He hasn't even been mentioned so far!

Anyway, that seems to be about par for this article. I suggest that either someone with knowledge and references can use its structure and rewrite heavily, or we can toss it and start over, because the present article does our readers a disservice. -- Jmabel | Talk 09:02, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Callings of Nietzsche.

The article currently says: No to a great man, not to a "superman" per se, but to something above man, greater. Something separate from and greater than man. Many scholars believe[citation needed] that the Übermensch is a psychological change, and in fact it involves a major psychological change; but it is in fact[citation needed] not only a mindset shift but a genetic shift. Why else, if this were not true, would Zarathustra go into Man's past, to Apes: "What is the ape to men? A laughing-stock or a painful embarrassment. And just so shall men be to the Superman: a laughing-stock or a painful embarrassment."

The interpretation of the Overman as something genetically different from normal man is weird. I've never come across it anywhere else, although it does smack of Nazi eugenics and the Herrenvolk concept in Nazi ideology. Seems quite doubtful to me, given that Nietzsche seemed to think that a normal man could himself (and not just his descendants) become an Overman. Sounds like this section needs a lot of cleaning up. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Monkberg (talkcontribs) 13 Jan 2006

I would be inclined to clean it up with an eraser. -- Jmabel | Talk
I second the eraser suggestion. In the first place, this section seems to advocate the positions it purports to describe - both its reading of Nietsche ('many scholars believe... but it is in fact...') and the views it treats as his ('He calls us to become a step into the right direction... the Future is the Overman, we are merely a strand in a great rope that leads to the Overman. "Let your will say: The Superman shall be the meaning of the earth!"'). Secondly, POV issues aside, readings of the Übermensch concept belong in the body of the article, not in their own sections (the article should not argue against itself). And finally, as Monkberg suggests, the idea of a genetically distinctive Übermensch doesn't sit easily with Nietsche's own account. I've never seen such a reading seriously proposed either. I shall delete in a day or so if there's no objection/radical edit in the meantime. Whortleberry 05:48, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

nietzsche -- authoritarian?

Nietzsche had an admiration of Napoleon Bonaparte and Julius Caesar, and advocated an authoritarian united Europe.

Can I have a citation for this? Nietzsche styled himself apolitical. — goethean 23:24, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

WRT Napoleon, N describes him as a "synthesis of Unmensch (inhuman) and Übermensch" at the end of section 16 of Genealogy of Morals. I wouldn't exactly call that 'admiration', but it's clearly a recognition of an element of greatness in Napoleon's makeup. I think N mentions him elsewhere, but I can't remember where it is or what he says. --Squiddy | (squirt ink?) 12:08, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
In The Will to Power (i.e., from his Nachlass; trans. Walter Kaufmann), in sect. 1017 and passim, Nietzsche annotated on Napoleon in similar form to sect. 16 of Genealogy of Morals:

The struggle against the eighteenth century: its supreme overcoming by Goethe and Napoleon. Schopenhauer, too, struggles against it; but he involuntarily steps back into the seventeenth century—he is a modern Pascal, with Pascalian value judgments without Christianity. Schopenhauer was not strong enough for a new Yes.

Napoleon: insight that the higher and the terrible man necessarily belong together. The "man" reinstated [i.e., rather than the Christian "good man" and the "socialist ideal" (stated previously in sect. 1017)]; the woman again accorded her due tribute of contempt and fear. "Totality" as health and highest activity; the straight line, the grand style in action rediscovered; the most powerful instinct, that of life itself, the lust to rule [i.e., "the will to power"], affirmed.

Then in sect. 1026 as a kind of forethought in light of his "inhuman" character:

Such men as Napoleon must come again and again and confirm the belief in the autocracy of the individual: but he himself was corrupted by the means he had to employ and lost noblesse of character. If he had had to prevail among a different kind of man he could have employed other means; and it would thus not seem to be a necessity for a Caesar to become bad [my italics for this last phrase].

Very revealing indeed. Whatever the case, Nietzsche was far from being an "authoritarian" and that is most certainly not indicated by his extolments about Napoleon. Added to this would be a reading of Goethe's views on Napoleon, which may be found in Conversations with Eckermann. In short, out with the false statement: "advocated an authoritarian united Europe". It is a miscalculation, perhaps even (consciously or unconsciously) under the guise of Fascist-Nazi ideology, for which we are no longer naive enough to accept as remotely plausible. In any event, it may be fruitful to recognize his statement on "[woman's] due tribute" in addition to his view on Schopenhauer à la Pascal.ignisscripta 20:17, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
Would you be able to give me the exact date of the fragment (sect.1026 - I don't use an English edition and mines are classed by date)? I would really be interested by it. Thanks in advance. Lapaz 20:27, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
Most certainly. Sect. 1026 is under Summer-Fall 1883, while—for sake of interest—sect. 1017 is Spring-Fall 1887. (I in this consideration corrected a minor mistake within my post above, which necessarily alters neither the appurtances of the posed concretions in my previous entry nor the intended meaning but the chronological sequence during which instance the notes were written.)ignisscripta 01:46, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

I think that to understand what Nietzsche meant when he said Napoleon was the SYNTHESIS of "inhuman and overman" we should understand that Nietzsche is using dialectical logic the way Hegel would. For Hegal, a sythesis is a result of taking a thesis and its antithesis and creating a synthesis. The synthesis will always have properties in common with both the thesis and the antithesis, but the synthesis will also always have properties that CONTRADICT both the thesis and antithesis.

For that reason, when Nietzsche declared Napoleon a "sysntehsis of inhuman and overman" Nietzsche is NOT claiming Napoleon is an ubermensch. He is claiming that Napoleon had properties about him that an ubermensch ideally would have but he also had properties that an ideal ubermensch would not have. Clearly Nietzsche admired Napoleon for being perhaps the only "enlightened despot" who appriciated the arts and freed the French Jews from the ghettos, and for Napoleon's character traits (Napoleon was bold, a man of action, a hard charger.) But Nietzsche saw other properties of Napoleon, such as his excessive need for military conquest to be "inhuman". So the word "synthesis" is very important. Nietzsche e regarded Napoleon as a "higher man" but a "higher man" is rarely an ubermensch. The ubermensch is the highest type (and also the most rare type) of a higher man. Just my 2 cents.

Comment moved here from article

This page appears to have an unresolved commentary on itself presented as part of the text. Someone with the correct authority should correct this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Moved from article by Camillus (talk) 03:11, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

and advocated an authoritarian united Europe.

I've removed that statement. I remember Nietzsche saying in one of his writings that traditional, imperialistic and powerful European states should be destroyed in favour of smaller ones. I'll look it up to see in exactly which text he says that. --GTubio 17:12, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Socrates an Overman?

Nietzsche spoke about Socrates as the author of the decline in western philosophy. I think he would be the last person for being an overman... All this despite he, of course, greatly influenced European thoight. --GTubio 14:02, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

No. There have been no overmen. That is one of the first things made clear. Besides, Nietzsche would not consider Socrates an overman if there even was one. Nietzsche strongly criticized Socrates, Plato, and Platonism. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 23 April 2006.

Archeology & Heinrich Hemmlar

While this is not uninteresting, I removed it on the grounds that we are not discussing the Nazi' ideology of Aryanism, but the Nazi instrumentalization of Nietzsche's philosophy & in particular of the "Overman" (this is why Alfred Baümler is quoted, as he was one of the main "philosopher" against whom Heidegger "battled"): "One of the goals set by Hitler was to assign Heinrich Hemmlar, the commander of the SS, in uncovering evidence that germans is the Aryan race. Archeology played am important role in the early beginnings of the SS." The other addition by same user was "He believes this dualism, the deitification and the demonization in religion, is hindering our evolution to the overman.", which I left but also find discutable, since it's speaks of an "evolution to the overman" - Nietzsche never thought the overman as a future for the human specie, but only as a future possibility for some individuals. See Pierre Klossowski's quotes on his passages about the "future tyrants of Europe". Lapaz 15:58, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Stop saying Overman, damn it! Sure when you translate Übermensche you get Overman, but that is not what Nietzsche intended it for. Übermensche is above human, better than human, superior than human, perhaps even superhuman. To just call it "overman" is not giving it justice. But I have to agree with you pulling that little section. Hitler and the Nazis certainly used Nietzsche's work as sort of a justification, but they totally changed and distorted it to fit their "plans." Nietzsche would have NEVER condoned their actions and would have openly spoke against them, but he was already dead. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

Slighty out of date and ill-tempered statement. There's no e at the end of Übermensch, and double-spacing is bad typographic form unless you're actually using a typewriter. --GoodIntentionstalk 07:33, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

I think you should try to refute his statement instead of correcting his spelling and double-spacing. There is no need for this immaturity. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Aidan Mclaren (talkcontribs) 25 October 2006.


Although I understand why Igni or another decided to introduce the "transhumanistic", and righty did it with caution, I think further precautions should be taken. Mainly, stating that Nietzsche' Übermensch has prettly little to do with technological enhancement: he's not talking about a "cyborg", is he? Maybe if we added something like: to pose values for centuries to come, or in this vein? Lapaz 23:31, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

"Transhumanism cultivates the academic study of the possibilities and consequences of developing and using human enhancement techniques and other emerging technologies for these purposes." reads the entry... I'm not sure Nietzsche really spoke about that, although of course one could interpret him in this way, as in other ways. Lapaz 23:33, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

This is what the article states: "The contemporary version of this ideal, although in no way explicitly based upon the ideals of Nietzsche but rather on the ideals of many people from the past and present, is to some extent transhumanistic." [My emphasis] This clearly shows there is no connection between Nietzsche's idea and the common one signified by the term itself. In other words, there is no problem that you bring up as related to the text, however, my question would be: is this "transhumanistic" feature in fact at all accurate apropos the "common idea"? — ignis scripta 23:43, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree that's what the article states, I heard you. What I'm asking if, shouldn't we be extra cautious adding another disclaimer, mainly relating to the technological "post-human" cyborg dream that is in the "transhumanism" term. Let's not forget that this is very popular and we do not know exactly who is reading: without even speaking about the people with no philosophical background, young & very young people may read this, as well as people from far-away countries who have little understanding of this, and, as in my case, people whose English is not perfect. This to say that I didn't really understand your question "is this 'transhumanistic' feature accurate à propos the common idea"?; are you asking if this definition of transhumanism which I cut-pasted is not accurate, as a popular culture stereotype? I know Peter Sloterdijk got purposefully misinterpreted by Habermas & the media when he started talking about such subjects, but I'm not sure I really understood you on that point. To insist again: it is all fine for me to make a link to "transhumanism", but I do think that the speaking precautions you took are well-advised, but would need a more in-depth contradiction based on Nietzsche's philosophy: that's why I brought up the "foundation of the values" issue. Nietzsche's has been enough misinterpreted in the past that we needn't be wary of taking "too much" precautions... Lapaz 23:53, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
Actually I see that this sentence has been on for a while. I first thought you had add it. So you're asking me if it's at all relevant? No, I don't really think it's worth linking to a page like that, it's an association of ideas that is just... too much. Lapaz 23:57, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
Shouldn't it be rather moved in "popular acceptions of the term" subsection? Lapaz 00:01, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
You asked: "are you asking if this definition of transhumanism which I cut-pasted is not accurate, as a popular culture stereotype?" My answer: not precisely; I'm asking whether "transhumanism" is the popular, common understanding of the term Übermensch, disregarding Nietzsche's meaning (which is not transhumanistic but much more complex), or not. In response to your latest post, I think that would be the best placement for it, if the answer to my question is answered affirmatively as the case of the matter. — ignis scripta 21:03, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

As a native speaker I would suggest, that transhuman would be a much better translation for the adverb übermenschlich than most of the other possible solutions given. I think, that Nietzsche meant über- in the way of beyond (jenseits) , but there is no exact corresponding preposition for it in German. So the Übermensch is in my eyes much more the human being beyond the man of the present than somebody who is superior to him or just comes temporary (post) after him. On the other hand, what is today understood by the term Transhumanism doesn't has much in common with Nietzsche, I guess. A cyborg may still be a human being in Nietzsche's eye, as long this cyborg is still thinking in a human way. As I have understood Nietzsche, the transcendence has to take part in the consciousness. --Kryston 16:56, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Indeed, that is an etymologically sufficient translation of the term, but my question in actuality relates to the concept of transhumanism, and your answer is supportive of this. Essentially, I think the note should be moved to popular conceptions of the term Übermensch in the article. — ignis scripta 21:47, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
I just made a slight change to the claim about transhumanistic -- saying it's "one", not "the" contemporary version of this ideal. But I agree it should be moved to "popular conceptions", if it should remain at all. --Cultural Freedom talk 08:17, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Herbert Spencer

Nietzsche has criticized Spencer and social darwinism many times, maybe if someone has a few moments he could find a quote to justify this much-needed precision? Lapaz 00:03, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Pretentious pedantry

What is it about this topic that draws pretentious pedantry: "In the understanding of this concept, however, one has to recall…"

Don't tell the reader how they "have to" think. Just state the case. - Jmabel | Talk 23:47, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Passive voice hides agency

From the lead: "Therefore, the Übermensch has also been interpreted as a temporary state of the multiple wills to power composing this individual 'fiction'." As usual, passive voice hides agency. Who has made this interpretation? - Jmabel | Talk 23:56, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Similarly, in the section Re-evaluating or destroying old ideals: No passive voice here, but still no agency. Whose views are being expressed? Nietzsche's? The fictional Zarathustra's? Without some indication, it seems to be those of the writer of this article, which is not appropriate. - Jmabel | Talk 23:58, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

POV article

The Ubermensch to Nietzsche was to be the neo-feudal Aryan overlord and cultural genius of the future (Nietzsche despised exoteric Judeo-Christianity for its being the "anti-Aryan religion against caste privilege and race" and praised the Aryan Brahmanist caste-regulations of Manu and ancient Greco-Roman society for its unapologetic slave-based hierarchy)--contra the ethnically-motivated whitewashing of Kaufmann and his legions of lying PC sheep. This leftist-conformist, mendacious article implies Nietzsche was not a racialist or Aryanist, did not believe in innate racial differences, and there is no connection between the Ubermensch and race and eugenic upbreeding. It must be stated: All of these statements are DIRECT DISTORTIONS, flatly contradicting Nietzsche's own formulations, born of the fashionable demoliberal egalitarian nonsense Nietzsche dedicated his life to fighting against.

The following excerpts from prominent scholars will also help to dissolve the mass of PC lies and fallacies constituting this farcical article.

Ernst Nolte, Three Faces of Fascism:

"The discovery of the Dionysian background of tragedy, the defense of genius against the masses, the insistence on the necessity of slavery, serve no other purpose than to explicate the elements of genuine culture: its background, relevance, and basis. They are developed along with the indictment of the enemies of culture: science and its logical (Socratic) optimism, mass emancipation and its shallow utilitarian outlook, revolution and it pernicious effects ... For if history amounts to nothing more than the petty and sterile calculation of the last 'squinting' men, who neither obey nor rule and desire to be neither poor nor rich, then the most mighty effort is required to force them back into the state of slavery which is their rightful place ... In fact, Nietzsche's whole thought represents the very antithesis of the Marxist conception, and the idea of destruction is the negative aspect of its core ... Nietzsche is not in any obvious sense the spiritual father of fascism; but he was the first to give voice to that spiritual focal point toward which all fascism must gravitate: the assault on practical and theoretical transcendence, for the sake of a 'more beautiful' from of 'life.' Nietzsche was not concerned with magnificent animality for its own sake, nor was destruction per se Hitler's goal. Their ultimate aim was a 'supreme culture' of the future ... Many decades in advance, Nietzsche provided the political radical anti-Marxism of fascism with its original spiritual image, an image of which even Hitler never quite showed himself the equal ... Nietzsche's thought is not an ideology of the bourgeoisie: on the one hand it is a deeply disturbed protest of the artistic temperament against the general world trend, on the other it is the violent reaction of the feudal element in bourgeois society at being threatened" (p. 441-45). "[Note 57] Nietzsche claimed that miscegenation was responsible for the triumph of democratic ideals (Werke, VIII, 245)." (p. 545)

Rudiger Safranski, Nietzsche: A Philosophical Biography:

"If happiness and freedom of the greatest possible number are given higher priority, Nietzsche claimed, the result is a democratic culture in which mass taste triumphs. The orientation of a democratic state to comprehensive welfare, human dignity, freedom, egalitarian justice, and protection of the weak impedes any prospects for development of great personalities. The 'bright lights' vanish from history and along with them any last vestige of meaning.

"In his quest to defend aesthetic significance in history, Nietzsche assailed democracy as far back as the early 1870s, even before his shrill attacks on the 'complete appeasement of the democratic herd animal' some years later. Nietzsche considered the ancient Greek slaveholder society the paragon of culture for the very reason that it disallowed concessions to the 'democratic herd animal.' He extolled antiquity for being honest enough not to have covered up the terrible foundation from which its blossom grew ... Just as people need brains and brawn, Nietzsche argued, society needs the hardworking hands of laborers for a privileged class, allowing that class 'to engender and fulfill a new world of needs' (The Greek State) ... More recent eras have glorified the world of work, but glorification is self-deception, because even the 'terminological fallacy' of the 'dignity of work' does not alter anything in the fundamental injustice of life, which metes out mechanical work to some and creative activity to the more highly gifted. Slave societies were brutally frank about their inequities, whereas our modern times feign contrition but are unwilling forgo exploitation in the service of culture. Thus, if art justifies our existence aesthetically, it does so on the foundation of 'cruelty' (The Greek State). ...

"Nietzsche feared that if knowledge and learning were to become available to the majority of people, a horrifying, culturally devastating uprising would ensue, because the 'barbaric slave class' would plan revenge 'not only for itself but for all generations' (BT, 18). For him, this awful revenge was a 'calamity slumbering in the womb of theoretical culture'.

"Nietzsche contended that the order of ancient or modern slaveholder societies could be preserved only if everyone accepted the basic tragic constitution of human life as a consequence 'of the natural cruelty of things' (BT, 18). The slaves put up with cruelty, which is one aspect of Dionysian wisdom, and the cultural elite is aware of this cruelty and seeks refuge behind the shield of art, which is its other aspect. ...

"Nietzsche could envision this higher stage of mankind...only as a culmination of culture in its 'peaks of rapture', which is to say in successful individuals and achievements. The will to power unleashes the dynamics of culmination, but it is also the will to power that forms a moral alliance on the side of the weak. This alliance works at cross purposes with the goal of culmination and ultimately, in Nietzsche's view, leads to widespread equalization and degeneration. As a modern version of the 'Christian theory of morality', this alliance forms the backbone of democracy and socialism. Nietzsche therefore adamantly opposed all such movements ... If we are content to regard this highly personal philosophy and these maneuvers of self-configuration with fascination and perhaps even admiration, but are not willing to abandon the idea of democracy and democratic justice, it is likely that Nietzsche would have accused us of feeble compromise, indecisiveness, and epitomizing the ominous 'blinking' of the 'last men'...

"In both Twilight of the Idols and The Antichrist, Nietzsche evaluated a book he had discovered in Turin, namely the Laws of Manu. This book was alleged to be a moral code of the caste system based on the Vedas. Nietzsche was captivated by the chilling consistency with which this corpus of laws divided society into mutually exclusive social milieus according to an ominous requirement of purity. He regarded the fact that members of the various castes could not interact with one another as a clever biopolitics of breeding that would prevent degeneration...

"In his last writings, notably in Twilight of the Idols, Nietzsche employed even more adamant moral and philosophical arguments to advocate anti-Judaism, and introduced on occasional hint of racial biology: 'Christianity, with its roots in Judaism and comprehensible only as a growth from this soil, represents the countermovement to any morality of breeding, of race, or privilege: it is the anti-Aryan religion par excellence' (TI 'Improvers of Mankind' 4)."—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) and —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

First, it's debatable what "aryan" means. Like N's colorful use of Zarathustra as a mouthpiece and metaphor, it could mean simply "a noble man" or something of the like (but that is my interpretation and, like others', should not be used as encyclopedic unless reliable secondary sources make the same claim). Otherwise dictionary definitions have an aryan as either a proto-indo european or "(according to Nazi doctrine) a Caucasian person of Nordic descent (and not a Jew)". Nazi interpretation of what an "aryan" is is also questionable. Consider that Nazis didn't really come around until 1933, and N's death in 1900. Trying to link the two this way to most in light of many facts is specious. Just because some things may seem obvious to you, doesn't mean it is to everyone. You may very well be right, but the most reliable and coherent interpretations we have leave us with the perspective, which is, for the most, mirrored on the article (which still undeniabley sucks). -Bordello 04:00, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
Are you actually reading his words, or does the reality of his views shock you into noncomprehension? How can it be 'debatable' what Nietzsche means by 'Aryan' when he defines this term explicitly throughout his works, especially in The Genealogy of Morals, 1st Essay, Section 5 citation, where the term Aryan is given a clear biological, anthropological and racial meaning, and set in contrast with the despised, short-skulled, dark-featured, pre-Aryan subject race of Europe? Nietzsche there denounces the fact that "the conquering and master race - that of the Aryans - is also being defeated physiologically". Bringing up the issue of Nazism is irrelevant to these questions.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
I suggest you to read Mazzino Montinari. Nolte is only saying that Nietzsche was aristocratic, that's very different from any form of racism, Aryanism or fascism. Safranski is pointing out to a very important part of Nietzsche, but Nietzsche also said something around the line: the men of the future must justify this massive and never yet seen exploitation of humankind which democracy will bring around. That Nietzsche was no eager supporter of "democracy" is nothing new, I don't know what it change about "Aryanism". And to quote again this old Genealogy of Morals as "proof" of Nietzsche's fascism... Isn't the trick a bit old yet? Lapaz 04:10, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
Sticking one's head in the sand like an ostrich will not help. I have amplified the excerpt from Nolte to include this noted scholar's recognition of Nietzsche's anti-miscegenatory eugenic racialism. Nietzsche did indeed consider modern Anglo-Judaic democracy as possibly forming the base of mediocrity onto which the Pan-European master caste Ubermensch of the future could erect itself: does this somehow soften his radically illiberal, antisocialist, racialist and eugenic views? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
Think again. There are many interpretations about Nietzsche.Non-vandal 02:45, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

'Interpretations' are irrelevant. There is the reality of Nietzsche's views as stated by himself, and then there is distortion and manipulation by agenda-driven people. The Derridean-postmodernist framework is worthless. Also see:

The Journal of Nietzsche Studies, n. 27, (Spring 2004) Nietzsche, the aristocratic rebel.

Nice, March 29, 1887: Letter to Theodor Fritsch

(Compare: Nietzsche's note, End 1886-Spring 1887 7 [67])

Dear Sir,'

Herewith I am returning to you the three issues of your correspondence sheet, thanking you for your confidence which you permitted me to cast a glance at the muddle of principles that lie at the heart of this strange movement. Yet I ask in the future not to provide me with these [anti-Semitic] mailings: I fear, in the end, for my patience. Believe me: this abominable "wanting to have a say" of noisy dilettantes about the value of people and races, this subjection to "authorities" who are utterly rejected with cold contempt by every sensible mind (e.g., E. Dühring, R. Wagner, Ebrard, Wahrmund, P. de Lagarde—who among these in questions of morality and history is the most unqualified, the most unjust?), these constant, absurd falsifications and rationalizations of vague concepts "germanic," "semitic," "aryan," "christian," "German"—all of that could in the long run cause me to lose my temper and bring me out of the ironic benevolence with which I have hitherto observed the virtuous velleities and pharisaisms of modern Germans.

— And finally, how do you think I feel when the name Zarathustra is mouthed by anti-Semites? ...'

Yours humbly

Dr. Fr. Nietzsche

Nice, March 29, 1887: Letter to Theodor Fritsch

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Lapaz (talkcontribs)

Hubert Cancik, MONGOLS, SEMITES AND THE PURE-BRED GREEKS: Nietzsche's handling of the racial doctrines of his time:

Greece as Model

...Nietzsche thoroughly accepted the biological discourse of his contemporaries: history was supposed to be explained through the "mixing of blood", the "coupling" of heterogeneous elements, "extraction" (in a biological sense) and, finally, "collisions" and "waves" of "immigrants". The genesis of the Greeks in Greece, where they "became Greeks", is the point of his notes on the "original inhabitants". This point owes a debt to a particular biological (see "Nietzsche's Greeks, Jews and Europe" below) and political (see "A higher caste", below) theory of Nietzsche's.

"A higher caste"

Nietzsche's notes jump from the prehistoric "original inhabitants" to the historical period of Greece: from the conquerors came the rulers; from the original inhabitants came the slaves; from the battle of races came the battle of the "castes". Politics built itself upon the previous "racial history". Together, all of these components formed the Greek model that was supposed to mediate between antiquity and the European future. Immediately following upon his racial history of Greece, Nietzsche continued with these words:

If one considers the enormous number of slaves on the mainland, then Greeks were only to be found sporadically. A higher caste of the Idle, the statesman, etc. Their hostilities held them in physical and intellectual tension. They had to ground their superiority upon quality - that was their spell over the masses (UB 118, p. 206 = 5[199]).

Now then, there are "Greeks". The conquerors "had taken into their blood", consumed and digested the Semitic, Mongolian and Thracian components . Something new had come into existence. Yet the "wild energy" through which the conquerors had taken possession of the land and its inhabitants remained preserved up into the earlier perlod of antiquity - or so Nietzsche thought. It was, indeed essential in order to keep the "enormous number of slaves" suppressed. This same energy drove the Greeks both to rivalry with each other and to the highest cultural achievements: "The intellectual culture of Greece [was] an aberration of the tremendous political drive toward distinction" (UB 118, p. 118=5[179]). The highest achievements of culture were necessary; they were not some lovely but superficial decoration. They engendered the cohesion of the higher caste of the "idle" - the political class and the creators of culture: in the musical and the athletlc contests, aggression was channelled and sublimated (cf. e.g. the piece from December 1872 on: "Homer's Wettkampf": KSA vol. 1, pp. 783-92). Moreover, the supreme achievements of culture cast a spell over the "masses", who obviously had to care for each one of those belonging to the "Idle", whose rule, in this manner, was justified aesthetically. Consequently, Nietzsche believed that he had proven through historical methods that the wild power and energy belonging to a conquering people has to be "bred great" (groB gezuchtet), a cultivation process by which such achievements as those the Greeks once produced would also be brought forth in Europe in the future (UB 118, p. 116 and 114 = 5[185] and [188]). Neither peace, luxury, socialism, the ideal political state, welfare, nor short-term educational reform are preconditions for the engendering of genius - whether of a people or of an individual; rather, genius should arise from conditions "as malicious and ruthless" as those in nature itself: "Mistreat people - drive them to their limits" (UB 118, p. 112 = 5j 191] and [194]).

Nietzsche's considerations about race and caste as well as rule and culture for the Greeks were aimed at his present. "The Greeks", he thought, "believed in differences among the races". Nietzsche approvingly recalled Schopenhauer's opinion that slaves were a different species, and in addition, he cited the image of a winged animal in contrast to that of an unmoving shellfish (UB 118, p. 112 = 5[72] and [73]). In such a generalization as this one, the statement is incorrect, and in a more narrowly defined sense, it is racist... Accordingly, the following statements by Nietzsche are to be characterized as racist:

1. "The new problem: whether or not educating[!] a part of humanity to a higher race must come at the cost of the rest. Breeding . . ." (1881 KSA vol. 9, p. 577 12[10])

2. "We would as little choose 'early Christians' as Polish Jews to associate with us: not that one would need to have even a single [i.e., rational] objection to them.... Both of them simply do not smell good." (AC 46)

Nietzsche tested his racial teachings within the framework of classical studies. The aphoristic formulation that he gave to his "Notes" on the original population of Greece in September 1876 forms a connection to the racial teachings of his critical writings ("Die Pflugschar" 143 KSA vol. 8, p. 327; it is proved by the version of "Pflugschar" that the passages numbered 5[198] and [199] in KGW are not separated "tragments" but rather a unity). In his "Plowshare", Nietzsche excluded the Doric migration and avoided the word "caste" as well as such peculiarities as the tree and snake cult, or the Mongolian elements in the Odyssey or the Italians who had become Greeks. Purified of offensive, concrete, verifiable details, a more refined, polished, dashing aphorism emerged, one that suggested, in more pleasing language, the necessary connection of racial differences to the rule of "higher beings" -- thus "the idle, the political class, etc." are now called - and to cultural superiority.


Inheritance of acquired characteristics

...the "purity" of the race is also a positive, basic concept of biology for Nietzsche. Nietzsche constructed a little racial history of ancient Europe upon concepts he had borrowed from biology (GM 15 1887; note that Nietzsche had read Tocqueville - see his letter to Overbeck, 23 February 1887). "Blood mixing", skull shape and skin and hair color are the main terms of his anthropology. Nietzsche coupled the biological to social characteristics and to moral values: the blond-haired is better than the black-haired, and the short-skulled is worse than the long-skulled. Some fearless etymologies suggested by the erstwhile philologist make this chapter from the Genealogy of Morals into a prize exhibit of philo-Aryan prose (some examples: esthlos/"noble" to einai/"to be", malus/"bad" to melas/"black") because for Nietzsche, the long-skulled blond - the good, noble, pure conqueror - was the Aryan, of course: they were the master race in Europe. Nietzsche's little racial history of ancient Europe aimed at the present. In the social and political movements of the Democrats, the Anarchists and the Socialists of his time, he saw, namely, the instincts of the "pre-Aryan population" breaking through again. Nietzsche related these political programs explicitly to biology. He feared that "the conquering and master race - that of the Aryans - is also being defeated physiologically" (GM I 5). According to Nietzsche, the Jews had begun this slave revolt: they led the slaves - the mob, the herd - to this victory over the aristocracy. This victory meant "blood poisoning", "intoxication" - this pastor's son and classical philologist loved to adorn himself with medical jargon. Nietzsche identified the reason for the poisoning: "It [i.e., the victory] had mingled the races promiscuously" (GM I 9; for the mixture of races considered as an evil, cf. JGB 208, 200). The pre-Aryan population was thus in league with the Jews and against the Italians, the Greeks, the Celts, the Germans - and generally speaking, all Aryans everywhere ... In 1881, Nietzsche published a general draft of his racial ideas under the title "The becoming-pure of a race". What he had previously scattered about in notes concerning classical studies and in various other hints is here summarized in twenty-five lines of print covering five points: 1. The races are not originally pure but, at best, become pure in the course of history. 2. The crossing of races simultaneously means the crossing of cultures: crossing leads to "disharmony" in bodily form, in custom and in morality. 3. The process of purification occurs through "adapting, imbibing, [and] excreting" foreign elements. 4. The result of purification is a stronger and more beautiful organism. 5. The Greeks are "the model of a race and culture that had become pure"... The significance of this text for Nietzsche has been shown by W. Muller Lauter. The "model" for the breeding of a European ruling caste was the Greeks: "it is to be hoped that a pure European race and culture will also one day succeed [in coming into being]" (JGB 25, last sentence & Daybreak IV 272, last sentence). In such a race and culture - as the model prepared by Nietzsche has instructed us - the foreign elements (those bred in) will be imbibed for digestion or excretion...

...Spencer had transferred theorems from biological evolution to the historical process. He complained that a policy of social reform hindered "natural selection". For this reason, Nietzsche advised, one must "eliminate the continuance and effectiveness" of bad, sick and uneducated people (KSA vol. 9, p. 10 (1880); cf. ibid., pp. 27t., 454t). From Sir Francis Galton, one of the original founders of eugenics, he took over the formula of "hereditary genius", which Galton had used in his study of the families of criminals (letter to Strindberg, 8 December 1888.; cf. Ietter to Overbeck, 4 July 1888. Ct. Marie Louise Haase, "Friedrich Nietzsche hest I rancls Galton", Nietzsche-Studien, 18 1889: 633ff)...

Nietzsche's utterances about acquired character, the purity of races, the inheritance of characteristics, the degeneracy of halfbreeds (JCB 208 KSA vol. 5, pp. 138. Cf. JGB 200: "The man belonging to an epoch of dissolution which mixes up the races") and the cultivation of drives over long periods of time could - for this branch - suggest an unorthodox (Neo-)Lamarckianism...

In historical scholarship as well - and even in classical philology - racist teachings had penetrated. Within Nietzsche's racial teachings, Jews and Aryans had a special position. In his first monograph (1872), Nietzsche had already arrayed the "Aryan character" against the Semitic one, Prometheus against Eve, the creative man against the lying woman, the tragic wantonness in battle for higher culture against lascivious sin (The Birth of Tragedy 9; in German, the word Frevel/"wantonness" is masculine in gender; the word Sunde/"sin" is feminine). This argumentative structure is still present in The Antichrist (1888): against the philhellenic Hyperboreans and what Nietzsche called "Aryan humanity" stood denatured Judaism and Judaism "raised to the second power", Christianity (cf. GD The 'correctors' of mankind" KSA vol. 12, p. 501). The Jews - as Nietzsche had indicated with the Eve myth - are not creative in contrast to the Aryan peoples, they are mere "intermediaries", merchants: "they invent nothing." Even their law is from the Codex of Manu - copied from an "absolutely Aryan creation" (Letter to Koselitz, 31 May 1888, cf. n. 31)...

Breeding a pure European race

"Imbibed and absorbed by Europe"

Nietzsche found surprising the fact that Christianity could have forced a Semitic religion upon the Indo-Germans (KSA vol. 9, pp. 21f). For this reason, he fought both Judaism and Christianity, and he created for himself a pagan, Indo-Germanic alternative with his new, Hellenic Dionysos and the Iranian Zarathustra...

The Christian was "only a Jew of a 'freer' confession of faith" - Christians and Jews were "related, racially related" (AC 44), and Christianity was a form of Judaism raised "yet one time" higher through negation (AC 27: "the small rebellious movement, which is baptised in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, is the Jewish instinct once more"). Nietzsche wrote:

Christianity is to be understood entirely in terms of the soil from which is grew - it is not a countermovement to the Jewish instinct; it is the successor itself, a further step in its [i.e., the Jewish instinct's] frightening logic. (AC 24)

Nietzsche's fight against the "denaturalization of natural values" (AC 25), his "transvaluation of all values" was directed against Jews and Christians. Because Nietzsche argued against both, Christian antiSemitism was especially offensive for him. The Jews, Nietzsche maintained, were nevertheless guilty: They had "made humanity into something so false that, still today, a Christian can feel antiSemitic without understanding himself as the last stage of Judaism". (AC 24) The Antichrist was Nietzsche's last word on Judaism which he himself intended to be published. It is precisely with respect to supposed or truly "positive" utterances on Jews and Judaism that this fact should never be forgotten.

A short essay (section 251) in Nietzsche's "Philosophy of the Future" - Beyond Good and Evil (1885/6) - belongs to the "positive" parts. Here, "the breeding of a new caste to rule over Europe", definitely a current "European problem", according to Nietzsche, is discussed. The breeding of this caste follows the "Greek model": the foreign elements are "imbibed" and either assimilated or "excreted" - thus does a "pure European race and culture come into being". With the Jews, however, Germany was going to have difficulty, for Germany had "amply enough Jews" (so wrote Nietzsche in 1885/6): "that the German stomach, the German blood, is having difficulty (and for a long time yet will continue to have difficulty) finishing even this quantity of 'Jews'." Other European countries had finished with the Jews "because of a more strenuous digestion"; in Germany, however, there were simply too many. Nietzsche demanded what all anti-Semites demanded at that time: "Allow no more Jews in! And, especially, close the gates to the east (including the one between Germany and Austria!"... For anti-Semitism itself, Nietzsche had complete understanding; he was simply - like "all careful and judicious people" - against the "dangerous extravagance" of this feeling, "especially against the tasteless and scandalous expression of this extravagant feeling". (By asking moderation in the expression of anti-Semitism, which he considers as principally justified, Nietzsche takes the same posltlon as the later Wagner and Wolzogen.) Nietzsche had a measured and tasteful manner of expressing this "feeling". And his solution to the problem was also mild: the Jews are to be bred in. They even desire it themselves, "to be in Europe, to be imbibed and absorbed". As for the "antiSemitic complainers", those who might hinder this gentle final solution with their radical words, Nietzsche wanted to have them expelled from the country. And then, he thought, one could - "with great care" and "with selectivity" - cross an intelligent Jewish woman with an "aristocratic officer from the Mark" (i.e., a Prussian aristocratic officer)... In this elevated, fine, tasteful, gentle anti-Semitism, a thematic communality between Wagner and Nietzsche reveals itself, one going deeper than any disagreement in other areas, whether personal, musical or religious.

Nice, end of December 1887: Draft of letter to Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche In the meantime I've seen proof, black on white, that Herr Dr. Förster has not yet severed his connection with the anti-Semitic movement. [...] Since then I've had difficulty coming up with any of the tenderness and protectiveness I've so long felt toward you. The separation between us is thereby decided in really the most absurd way. Have you grasped nothing of the reason why I am in the world? [...] Now it has gone so far that I have to defend myself hand and foot against people who confuse me with these anti-Semitic canaille; after my own sister, my former sister, and after Widemann more recently have given the impetus to this most dire of all confusions. After I read the name Zarathustra in the anti-Semitic Correspondence my forbearance came to an end. I am now in a position of emergency defense against your spouse's Party. These accursed anti-Semite deformities shall not sully my ideal!! Nice, end of December 1887: Draft of letter to Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche Lapaz 04:20, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Lapaz (talkcontribs)

Demagogic anti-semitism is irrelevant to the issue at hand. Interestingly, Nietzsche despised demagogic anti-Semitism precisely for being a form of hypocritical 'Jewish' thinking--not exactly philo-Semitic. According to Nietzsche, the Jews have "made humanity into something so false that, still today, a Christian can feel antiSemitic without understanding himself as the last stage of Judaism" (The Antichrist). Nietzsche espoused an aristocratic form of anti-Semitism. As scholar Hubert Cancik states, "For anti-Semitism itself, Nietzsche had complete understanding; he was simply - like "all careful and judicious people" - against the "dangerous extravagance" of this feeling, "especially against the tasteless and scandalous expression of this extravagant feeling".—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
Concerning eugenics, I'd report you to Barbara Stiegler, Nietzsche et la biologie, PUF 2001, alas not translated into English. In any case, Nietzsche harshly criticized the Spencerian concept of "adaptation", and if he did have some kinds of projects, they had nothing to do with Galton's eugenics. As you know, Nietzsche was more of the aristocratic type, and he though an artificial selection was to be opposed to Christianism, which was an itself an artificial selection. Nietzsche is a thinker of the 19th century: it is all too natural for him to have thought about evolution & history, as did all other people. But to make of him a theorician of eugenics is the same lie as fostered by his sister who deliberately manipulated his Posthumous fragments. Beside, you surely also know that the biological interpretation of Nietzsche, upheld by Baumler & co, was already dismantled by Heidegger's interpretation. Lapaz 04:26, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Wherever progress is to ensue, deviating natures are of greatest importance. Every progress of the whole must be preceded by a partial weakening. The strongest natures retain the type, the weaker ones help to advance it. Something similar also happens in the individual. There is rarely a degeneration, a truncation, or even a vice or any physical or moral loss without an advantage somewhere else. In a warlike and restless clan, for example, the sicklier man may have occasion to be alone, and may therefore become quieter and wiser; the one-eyed man will have one eye the stronger; the blind man will see deeper inwardly, and certainly hear better. To this extent, the famous theory of the survival of the fittest does not seem to me to be the only viewpoint from which to explain the progress of strengthening of a man or of a race.Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human, §224 here

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Lapaz (talkcontribs)

Darwinian-Galtonian eugenics is not the only kind of eugenics. See above for Nietzsche's true views as related to breeding, eugenics and race as related by honest, unfashionable scholar Hubert Cancik.
What is the opinion of Cancik (a professor of Latin literature) worth, compared with Nietzsche's own words? Anybody can re-interpret and infer based on isolated passages in Nietzsche's corpus; for a professor of literature, inference and re-interpreting is his lifeblood, and for Nietzsche, he writes from so many viewpoints that he provides ample possibilities for inference. But only N can be trusted to tell you what his writings mean. Go back and read primary sources (like his letters) - a good excerpt is already above. 15:36, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

--Dear Sir: If only people would actually read Nietzsche's words, indeed. They might learn to question the false scholasticism which aggressively and mendaciously projects modern politically-correct values. Nietzsche was capable of nuanced, esoteric views and subtle distinctions, yet the degree of irresponsible subjectivism and complete schizophrenic dissociation from the words of Nietzsche himself among 'Nietzschean scholars' today is insane. The modern Franco-Judaic-Derridean pseudo-Nietzscheans are simply at a loss as to how to safely 'domesticate' Nietzsche's highly un-PC, untimely, traditionalist views on sexual essence and hierarchy--who knows what will happen when their deluded sheepfold eventually takes the effort to ignore the web of dialectical falsity thrown over Nietzsche's corpus and actually dares to read for once this ferociously anti-modern philosopher's very nonconformist statements relating to aristocracy, slavery, the white race, the destructive nature of miscegenation, and eugenics! It is not only notable writers and academicians like Rudiger Safranski, Ernst Nolte, and Huber Cancik, etc. who have the honesty to face Nietzsche as he is. The modern leftist-conformist PC establishment sometimes lets bits of the reality of Nietzsche go unscreened--it happens here and there. (The same 'awkward' situation applies to geniues like Schopenhauer, Wagner and Lovecraft who had no respect for the taboos of modernity.) For instance, in the popular Oxford World's Classics edition of "On the Genealogy of Morals", Douglas Smith has the guts to emphasize that "Nietzsche's terminology and views here are clearly racist, assuming an evolutionary difference between white European and black African" (p. 147). But this 'inconvenient' revelation will be reduced by modern egalitarian materialistic distorters to an accidental fact unrelated to the whole of Nietzsche's worldview or, even worse, to a paranoid "word-game" or some such madness!—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

I signed up to join the Mediation Cabal and was surprised to find Nietzsche on the list of things to do. Heaven knows why I was surprised. On the main article we seem to have weathered this storm: is there any more problems with Petrejo spamming up talk pages? Can I mark this problem as solved? Does anybody object to my playing the role of mediator, considering the amount of interest and activity I've shown in these articles? --Marinus 06:11, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

I would welcome a mediator on this. Something about this topic that brings out the long, rambling essays from people who believe that they alone (1) truly understand Nietzsche and/or (2)are the Übermensch. - Jmabel | Talk 04:24, 23 August 2006 (UTC)